Plan for Internet directory services (RFC1107)
Original Publication Date: 1989-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-11
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
This memo proposes a program to develop a directory service for the Internet. It reports the results of a meeting held in February 1989, which was convened to review requirements and options for such a service. This proposal is offered for comment, and does not represent a committed research activity of the Internet community.
Network Working Group K. Sollins Request for Comments: 1107 M.I.T. Laboratory for Computer Science July 1989
A Plan for Internet Directory Services
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 1 1.1. The Issues 1 1.2. Project Summary 3 2. Goals and Requirements for a White Pages Service 6 3. Pre-existing Services 9 4. Proposed Approach 11 4.1. Stage 1: The Field Test 12 4.2. Stage 2: Implementation 17 4.3. Stage 3: Deployment 17 5. Conclusion 18
Status of this Memo
This memo proposes a program to develop a directory service for the Internet. It reports the results of a meeting held in February 1989, which was convened to review requirements and options for such a service. This proposal is offered for comment, and does not represent a committed research activity of the Internet community. Activity in this area is anticipated, and comments should be provided promptly. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.
1.1. The Issues
As part of the planned growth of the Internet (in particular, in support of the full science research community in the U.S.), an increasing need is anticipated for various sorts of directory services. The increase in the size of the community served by the Internet and the burgeoning demands for electronic mail lead to the need for a service to find people’s computer mailboxes and other relevant facts, a so-called "White Pages" service. At the user level to date, there have been no such national or international white pages services in general use. As part of building the National Research Network (NRN), it is important that such a service exist, not only within the NRN community, but also crossing the boundaries from the NRN to the more global network community. This will enhance communication not only among computer scientists, but also among
Sollins [Page 1]
RFC 1107 A Plan for Internet Directory Services July 1989
scientists and engineers in other fields as well. Also important and related is a so-called "Yellow Pages" service, which permits the location of Internet resources based on their attributes.
A "White Pages" service is one in which one can look up people in order to learn information about them for finding them. In its simplest form, a white pages service provides what the white pages telephone book provides. Based on a name, one can find an address and a telephone number. In a network environment, there may be many other kinds of location information, such as electronic mailbox, electronic calendar, or file server, where one might leave a file for the recipient. In addition, the electronic white pages may support a much more sophisticated set of mechanisms for lookup. One might match on a more complex set of attributes than first and last name. In addition, the searching might span more than one local white pages service. There are a number of naming and directory service specifications and implementations in the field. They have differing functionality and mechanisms to address that functionality.